Naum's Reviews > Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher's Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling

Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
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's review
Dec 16, 2011

really liked it
Read in December, 2011

An infuriating book… …not that there is no truth to be culled from it; rather, the author, Mr. John Taylor Gatto is on target with most of his rant. But within his harsh condemnatory words of the U.S. education system is a lack of imagination, at least at a macro level.

After purchasing, I discovered a great bit of this material is already accessible on Gatto's website -- The Underground History of American Education, and this newer published installment just a culling and rehashing of the same spiel Gatto has been emitting over the course of the past two decades, after his accolades for winning New York City "Teacher of the Year".

I believe most passionate teachers who've toiled in the public education system could echo Gatto. And I am mostly in agreement with Gatto about the diagnosis, but his prescription, IMV, is far off the rocker. I cannot envision how extrapolating a one-on-one style of instruction to mass education and rolling back "compulsory education" could be a net plus in the aggregate. It would restore a condition of a time when only the affluent could attain an education (a fact Gatto conveniently omits from his rants and anecdotes about the founders or other exceptional individual anomalies). Instead, I wish Gatto would apply that same sort of passion, vigor and energy to reforming the present system, be it top-down or bottom-up (as his career experience vividly illustrates).
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message 1: by Guntar (new) - added it

Guntar Akhmad Thank you for pointing out the website link :-)

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